Copyright © 2021 Albuquerque Journal
SANTA FE – The state Department of Health on Friday expanded eligibility for COVID-19 booster shots to more New Mexicans, though the priority remains getting first doses to people who are not vaccinated.
The move comes after the U.S. Centers on Disease Control and Prevention approved boosters for people who received the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, not just Pfizer.
New Mexicans who received the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine at least six months ago can now get a booster if they are:
• 65 or older.
• Or 18 or older and live in a long-term care setting, have certain underlying medical conditions, or work or live in high-risk settings, such as in education, grocery stores and law enforcement.
Eligibility for people who got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is broader. Anyone 18 and older who got the shot at least two months ago can get a booster.
“Many New Mexicans will benefit from additional protection, and DOH will work hand in hand with our healthcare partners to ensure that boosters are available,” Acting Health Secretary David Scrase said in a written statement. “That said, the most urgent task remains vaccinating New Mexicans who have not yet received their primary doses – and we encourage them to do so.”
State officials encouraged people to book vaccination appointments through their primary care office or to visit vaccinenm.org to learn more and schedule a shot.
About 72% of adults in New Mexico are fully vaccinated, meaning they’ve received either one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine or two of Moderna or Pfizer.
The CDC this week also approved mixing and matching of vaccines for booster shots, meaning people aren’t limited to sticking with the original shot they received.
The Department of Health on Friday also reported 14 additional COVID-19 deaths in New Mexico, pushing the death toll to 4,987. Five of the fatalities were adults from Bernalillo County.
The state also recorded 982 new cases and announced that 352 patients are hospitalized for COVID-19 – a 6% increase from a week ago.